pdfMachine is available in a number of different languages. To install pdfMachine you first need to download the appropriate installation file from the downloads page. If you are upgrading a licensed copy of pdfMachine to a later version you should check that you have current version protection before installing a new version of pdfmachine. Installing over the top of an existing pdfMachine installation will keep your pdfMachine settings. If you are trying to install an earlier version than what you have installed then you need to uninstall first.

You can customize the options for installation or use the pdfMachine user interface to set the options. If you need to install as a user without administrative privileges then you need to do a customized install.


Save or Run the downloaded executable to begin the installation of pdfMachine.

If you want to use the pdfMachine office addin to convert to PDF from your office applications then make sure that you check the "Install MS Office Addins" checkbox.

If you want to install pdfMachine as a shared printer (point and print) then please read the help here

Make sure you close all applications before running the downloaded file.

Read the license. Select "I Accept" to agree to the terms and conditions of the Software License. pdfMachine will then be installed

If you want to use the pdfMachine Merge functionality then you also need to download and install pdfMachine Merge. .


To uninstall pdfMachine:

  • Make sure all programs are closed
  • Select Uninstall from the start menu : Start->All Programs->Broadgun Software->uninstall Broadgun pdfMachine

Customizing the pdfMachine install

The downloadable file, pdfMachine.exe,  is a self extracting zip file.  Unzip this to a directory. The files of interest are:

    bgssetup.exe - The setup program. This is automatically run by the self extracting zip to install the software.

    bgsconf.ini - The setup configuration file, loaded by bgssetup.exe.  This file is customizable in any text editor, e.g. notepad.

Install options in the bgsconf.ini file are:

LANG Can currently be EN(English), DE(German), FR(French), ES(Spanish), PL(Polish), PT(Portuguese), IT(Italian)
startMenuName Controls the name on the start menu
printer Name of the printer (defaults to Broadgun pdfMachine)
quiet Set to 1 to install without user interaction
isShared Set to 1 to share the printer on the network.
OfficeAddin Set to 1 to install the Microsoft Office addin toolbar
installerStartBgProcess Set to 0 to prevent bgsmsnd.exe being started during install. See more info here
WeeklyVersionCheck Set to 1 to have pdfMachine check for new versions, otherwise 0
uploadUsageData Set to 1 to have pdfMachine upload anonymous usage data, otherwise 0
To enable backups:
backupEnabled Set to 1 to have pdfMachine always save a copy of the generated PDF, otherwise 0
backupDir A valid directory where saved copies of the PDF will be stored.
backupFilename The name of the saved copy of the PDF
backupOverwrite Set to 1 to have pdfMachine overwrite existing files when saving copy of the generated PDF, otherwise 0

After you have changed the bgsconf.ini file, to install the software run the bgssetup.exe program.

Repackage the pdfMachine.exe self extracting zip with your new bgsconf.ini:

- Create a zip file of the new contents of the directory.
eg in the directory which contains the extracted and edited files: 

zip ..\ *.*
- Create a new pdfMachine.exe using winzipse
eg in the directory containing the zip file (winzipse has a limited command line capability so it requires these parameters to be put in a text file):
create winzipse.txt containing -st pdfMachine.exe -setup -i pdfMachn.ico -t setupdlg.txt -win32 -le -C .\bgssetup.exe
then run
winzipse @winzipse.txt

You now have a new pdfMachine.exe

Creating an installer for users without administrative privileges

To install printers, the installer needs administrative privileges. This can be done using the runas command.
runas /user:Admin pdfMachine.exe
Then enter the Admin users password.
(runas does not allow the password to be specified as a command line parameter - see below for further information)

Unfortunately, the standard pdfMachine.exe generates an error because it starts a background process running as the Admin user.
To prevent this, you need to set installerStartBgProcess=0 in the bgsconf.ini file (see customizing the pdfMachine install.

bgsmsnd.exe must be running (as the user) for the user to successfully print to pdfMachine.
When the runas command completes, you should then run the bgsmsnd.exe as the normal user.
(alternatively bgsmsnd.exe will be started automatically next time the user logs on)

Creating an unattended installer for users without administrative privileges

To use runas without having to manually enter the admin password, requires that you create a script to enter the password for you. There are a few common ways to do this, some more secure than others:

scriptit - Microsoft's utility for building install scripts.
autoit - A free scripting utility - can produce compiled scripts as standalone executables.
Runas Professional - Can take password on command line but can also produce standalone exes with the password encrypted internally.